Morag McDonald: Passion

The first lecture I sat in with Morag I was late too; the bus was full and I ended up sweaty and out of breath trying to concentrate for the first 20 minutes. I wasn’t looking forward to the lecture when I was walking (or struggling to) up the hill, but as soon as it started I could tell the absolute passion that just flowed from Morag.

The lecture (I surmised by the end) was about passion, our passion more specifically, and how it has to drive everything you do.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER? – A class held discussion around passion and ideas within this subject.

– Driving urge?
– Always shooting/taking/recording – is there a ‘responsibility’ to record?
– Passion – the need to shoot – can be driven by why – what makes you different? – political passion/ethos
– Research – engaging with subjects, background
– Immersing yourself in projects
– Planning – push yourself creatively
–  Remuneration – getting paid for it!
– Remember how lucky you are!

We talked about how we (as creatives) passion and drive is the starting point and the end point of everything you do, trying new things, moving forward and finding that true reason for your want of the life of a photographer and always referring back to that. I found this discussion one of the most enlightening but also tricky to be present in. I know I have drive to work and create, but I am not entirely sure what I can pinpoint that down to as of yet. I know I want to communicate through my images, allowing voices to come through that might not have been present before.

We went on to talk about influences within creativity and how it doesn’t have to be limited to just photographers – art, poetry, music can all be influences. These influences and research can be led purely visually, or completely the opposite, the important part is actually going out and finding these things.

The influences that Morag was talking about seemed to just become part of her, the passion was so evident, the way she talked about the work with such knowledge, the passion for the visual and the research was evident. This was a running theme as she went on to talk about industry experience, talking of her life and jobs, projects and her business that she set up. We talked a lot of networking; ‘Getting one job does not mean you’re getting another one; keep networking, make contacts’. Making contacts and networking was a big part of the lecture, sharing how powerful word of mouth is and then eventually using this to go on to shoot bigger clients; it’s about aligning yourself with clients you want to photograph for, find events that fit with your focus and drive.

THis early on within the course and within my photographic journey, this idea really scares me, the idea of putting my work out there is terrifying – ‘its not good enough, it wont be what they want, I could mess it up somehow’, these are common thoughts. But I suppose the reality is that by pushing myself to become someone who’s work I admire myself, I become a) better within my practise and b) much more confident within that.

We talked of a lot of other industry based technicalities and realities, which can be found in the scans of my notes below. I don’t want to go through it all because I think I found the main talking point of this lecture was the complete passion that it was delivered with. I walked out so inspired and preoccupied with the ideas of making and creating work , which before the lecture I had not had at all (in fact the night before I was considering leaving the course).

My passion and everyone’s passion is different, but as long as you find it and stick to it, how can your images be anything but full of passion and understanding of the world around?

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